"I Don't Think They're Prepared": A Recession Could Really Hurt Influencers, And Many Of Them Don't Seem Ready

    "I'm always worried about my business..."

    In April 2022, Deutsche Bank warned a recession was coming.

    Influencers, many of whom simply sell the image of a perfect life, have never been through a prolonged recession.

    And people don't think influencers are ready for rough financial waters.

    Buying houses, retiring partners, and going all in on influencing has become a pattern for some. But if general shopping slows down and your household has gone all in on one platform, could that spell financial disaster for influencers?

    Over the past three years, top influencers have made major lifestyle changes, from new house purchases to retiring spouses.

    And the husband of Julia Berolzheimer, an influencer with 1.3 million followers on Instagram, left his job to help run the company.

    While 2020 did bring financial shock for many, the influencer industry actually saw financial growth as people spent more time online.

    What does a recession mean for influencers, who largely make their money by selling people products online?

    If no one clicks your affiliate links, how do you pay the bills?

    Cathy Peshek, founder of Poor Little It Girl, is a fashion influencer who thinks a recession will impact influencers' income.

    One study says 45% of US businesses are "highly concerned" about a recession, and some are already making cuts.

    Latasha James, a YouTuber and business mentor, told BuzzFeed she thinks influencers that serve, instead of just sell, will do well during a recession.

    A prolonged recession is bad for everyone, and history shows that consumer spending drops in recessions.

    However, influencers that focus on secondhand shopping or slow living might see a boost during a recession.

    Both Cathy and Latasha anticipate some drop in sponsorships during a recession, and they plan to focus on other areas of their business.

    Cathy thinks some people will turn MORE toward influencers' free content during a recession.

    Ultimately, a recession will likely weed out some influencers.

    As people's financial lives change, any online figure that doesn't have a value add could be phased out of people's lives. No one wants to follow someone who makes them feel bad about themselves during difficult economic times.